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Old May 27th, 2012, 10:30 PM   #101
WeimieLvr
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Originally Posted by bat_naso View Post
very fancy planning and fantasizing Tom. However, I lived in the ole ATL for more than 5 years and became intimately familiar with infrastructure network in the city.

First of all, you have to account for the racial/income makeup of the metro area, which most people don't say out loud - has a huge impact on transportation planning. The northern counties don't want anything to do with MARTA for reasons of lower classes of people appearing in their wealthy suburbs, preferring instead to drive their SUVs on clogged highways such as the 400, 75 and 85.

Also, the car culture of the american suburbanite doesn't fit with the european notion of public transport. This also has to do with point 1 above - if you ever take the train to anywhere south of Midtown you will experience why. The panhandlers, homeless, the dilapidated downtown area are something most people try to avoid. If you go to the airport by marta, you will also be looking over your shoulder at all times, in particular after dark. If you're a single women traveling after dark on the system, please DON'T!

Anyways, Atlanta has its nice point, however, as a whole, am I glad to be out of that place!
Delapidated downtown? I thought you said that you were familiar with Atlanta...downtown is far from delapidated. Georgia State? Centennial Park/CNN/Philips Arena? Castleberry Hill? The Hotel District? Fairlie-Poplar? I'm not sure what you're considering delapidated, but 90% of downtown certainly isn't. Maybe you had to be here a little longer to find out.

I think the problem with suburban folks vs. urban folks is more economics than it is racial. There is a criminal element present in lower-income areas that the average person does not want to be exposed to, and rightly so...and unfortunately a large portion of those areas are south of downtown (not south of Midtown), but that doesn't mean that everything south of downtown is poverty stricken. There are some beautiful neighborhoods there that you obviously aren't aware of that are not low-income.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 12:28 AM   #102
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Anyways, Atlanta has its nice point, however, as a whole, am I glad to be out of that place!
So, what Eden did you move to? NVM, I don't care.

Atlanta is a mess, it's true. But we've invested too much to just give up now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeimieLvr
Delapidated downtown? I thought you said that you were familiar with Atlanta...downtown is far from delapidated. Georgia State? Centennial Park/CNN/Philips Arena? Castleberry Hill? The Hotel District? Fairlie-Poplar? I'm not sure what you're considering delapidated, but 90% of downtown certainly isn't. Maybe you had to be here a little longer to find out.
Indeed. And had the commuter rail system been built, it likely would made things better, by making the southern end of the core much more accessible by people who (gasp) actually like cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bat_naso
Also, the car culture of the american suburbanite doesn't fit with the european notion of public transport.
Oh, wow, that's news! Fortunately, not everyone in Atlanta is a suburbiaphile. It isn't necessary for everyone in the metro area to want a viable urban environment-- we just need enough. And, IMO, we already have enough. What we need is a way of doing things that makes the most of our assets. That's where Atlanta falls down.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #103
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I seem to remember stories from when I lived in Atlanta that most of the cars in the northern marta stations' parking lots were from the suburbs.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #104
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Delapidated downtown?

I think the problem with suburban folks vs. urban folks is more economics than it is racial.

ding ding ding

I occasionally lurk on SSP, and the yokels there are even worse than the trolls here. Atlanta is an easy scapegoat, yet its messed up urban planning is no different than the current messed up urban planning everywhere else in places where the developers are in control.

There's a lot of unspoken yet strongly held classism/racism motivating peoples' real estate decisions. Go back to the bad old days of blockbusting/redlining, and it was more overt. Then it changed over to suburbanization/car dependency in an attempt to outrun the poor/dark people. Now it's come full circle and the centrally located areas are being gentrified. In EVERY case, the real estate industry has played upon and exploited the public's prejudices for its own profit.

I actually like DT Atlanta. I've never had a problem there. At the same time, I wouldn't go to the sketchy areas alone at night.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 01:51 AM   #105
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I seem to remember stories from when I lived in Atlanta that most of the cars in the northern marta stations' parking lots were from the suburbs.


I'm sure that's true since the northern MARTA stations are IN the suburbs...
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Old May 29th, 2012, 01:54 AM   #106
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.

I actually like DT Atlanta. I've never had a problem there. At the same time, I wouldn't go to the sketchy areas alone at night.
I love downtown Atlanta. Most of the heavy criticism it gets is from people who don't go there and they are going on something they heard. People who aren't afraid of urban areas tend to like it as well.

I would use the same caution in any city and avoid the less desirable areas, day or night...but most of downtown Atlanta is relatively safe.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #107
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ding ding ding

I occasionally lurk on SSP, and the yokels there are even worse than the trolls here. Atlanta is an easy scapegoat, yet its messed up urban planning is no different than the current messed up urban planning everywhere else in places where the developers are in control.

There's a lot of unspoken yet strongly held classism/racism motivating peoples' real estate decisions. Go back to the bad old days of blockbusting/redlining, and it was more overt. Then it changed over to suburbanization/car dependency in an attempt to outrun the poor/dark people. Now it's come full circle and the centrally located areas are being gentrified. In EVERY case, the real estate industry has played upon and exploited the public's prejudices for its own profit.

I actually like DT Atlanta. I've never had a problem there. At the same time, I wouldn't go to the sketchy areas alone at night.
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Delapidated downtown? I thought you said that you were familiar with Atlanta...downtown is far from delapidated. Georgia State? Centennial Park/CNN/Philips Arena? Castleberry Hill? The Hotel District? Fairlie-Poplar? I'm not sure what you're considering delapidated, but 90% of downtown certainly isn't. Maybe you had to be here a little longer to find out.

I think the problem with suburban folks vs. urban folks is more economics than it is racial. There is a criminal element present in lower-income areas that the average person does not want to be exposed to, and rightly so...and unfortunately a large portion of those areas are south of downtown (not south of Midtown), but that doesn't mean that everything south of downtown is poverty stricken. There are some beautiful neighborhoods there that you obviously aren't aware of that are not low-income.
Sure there are good neighborhoods. I am referring to stops along the MARTA line. Have you ridden it through the Civic Center, Five Points, and South to the airport?? I don't mean to dismiss the whole city as a giant shit-hole, but believe me, I went to Georgia State for years, and know the area around the campus and all the above venues that you're giving as examples. On a weekly basis there was an email from campus police to warn students of the most recent car brake-ins, rapes, and robberies close to and around campus...

Quick question - what is the trend of office occupancy downtown and south? What is the rate of occupied vs. abandoned/empty commercial and residential space? Nevertheless, I think that to love that place, you must have been born and raised there and to not have traveled much in order to compare....
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #108
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So, what Eden did you move to? NVM, I don't care.

- whether you care or not, I wish you pleasent hours stuck in traffic on the 400 or any of the other Big 3. How's that commute going for you? I currently walk to my office.

Atlanta is a mess, it's true. But we've invested too much to just give up now.

True.

Indeed. And had the commuter rail system been built, it likely would made things better, by making the southern end of the core much more accessible by people who (gasp) actually like cities.

Atlanta is a collection of suburbs with a many different cores, DT is only one of them. Sandy Springs/Perimeter area is way better for employment/commuting, etc.

Oh, wow, that's news! Fortunately, not everyone in Atlanta is a suburbiaphile. It isn't necessary for everyone in the metro area to want a viable urban environment-- we just need enough. And, IMO, we already have enough. What we need is a way of doing things that makes the most of our assets. That's where Atlanta falls down.
I agree with most of your comments, don't see why you take offense. We all have a right to an opinion. As I said before, it is very hard for someone used to european style cities to live in a place like the ATL, which could fit you very well indeed.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #109
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I must say that I was in Atlanta recently and, though it's always been known for having a lot of sprawl, I noticed a massive effort to really make great urban areas. The vast majority of the new/recent construction (and there was a lot) had really solid urban design to make the area more pedestrian- and transit-friendly. I could go on, but I'll just say that the planning in Atlanta has been really good in the past few years.
Of course, areas like Buckhead will always be impossible to "correct" and become 100% urban, but Buckhead still feels nice and sort of warrants being preserved like that.
The surrounding cities (even out to, say, Newnan) still can't get it right, though, and you see tons of land being cleared for massive parking lots. Just textbook kind of sprawl stuff that you'd figured everyone had stopped doing at this point, but I guess its their bubble to burst.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 04:13 PM   #110
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I'm sure that's true since the northern MARTA stations are IN the suburbs...
Oh. lol
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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:42 AM   #111
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I must say that I was in Atlanta recently and, though it's always been known for having a lot of sprawl, I noticed a massive effort to really make great urban areas. The vast majority of the new/recent construction (and there was a lot) had really solid urban design to make the area more pedestrian- and transit-friendly. I could go on, but I'll just say that the planning in Atlanta has been really good in the past few years.
Of course, areas like Buckhead will always be impossible to "correct" and become 100% urban, but Buckhead still feels nice and sort of warrants being preserved like that.
The surrounding cities (even out to, say, Newnan) still can't get it right, though, and you see tons of land being cleared for massive parking lots. Just textbook kind of sprawl stuff that you'd figured everyone had stopped doing at this point, but I guess its their bubble to burst.
Actually the surrounding suburban towns (for the most part) have a walkable core that is urban - especially Decatur and a couple of others that have MARTA stations. The sprawl is mostly in unincorporated areas with those towns' addresses, and even among the sprawl there are plenty of examples of good urban development mixed in with the ever-present sprawl. It's like that in almost any city...

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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:47 AM   #112
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Sure there are good neighborhoods. I am referring to stops along the MARTA line. Have you ridden it through the Civic Center, Five Points, and South to the airport?? I don't mean to dismiss the whole city as a giant shit-hole, but believe me, I went to Georgia State for years, and know the area around the campus and all the above venues that you're giving as examples. On a weekly basis there was an email from campus police to warn students of the most recent car brake-ins, rapes, and robberies close to and around campus...

Quick question - what is the trend of office occupancy downtown and south? What is the rate of occupied vs. abandoned/empty commercial and residential space? Nevertheless, I think that to love that place, you must have been born and raised there and to not have traveled much in order to compare....
Wow, that is an insulting assumption you made about me and totally incorrect. I moved to Atlanta in 1989 and have also lived in London and Miami for periods of more than a year. I have traveled a great deal, not that I need to justify my background to someone who doesn't know nearly as much about my adopted city as I do.

I also graduated from GA State and see the area completely differently than you do, but urban areas do not scare me at all - neither do black people or the homeless. It's sad, but rapes/break-ins/robberies are a fact of life around college campuses...yet I never once felt unsafe at GSU. Different experiences I guess, but it's irritating for people to go around spouting their experiences as if they are the way things are, ya know? You may have a worldly perspective on things, but it's highly offensive that you assume the rest of us don't have it. Maybe we just aren't quite as condescending, I don't know...

It would be nice if we could go back to discussing urban transport rather than having to defend the city we love from outside negative opinions and off-the-wall comments. It seems like Atlanta gets more on-line hate from more people than any other city in the U.S. for some reason.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #113
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Sure there are good neighborhoods. I am referring to stops along the MARTA line. Have you ridden it through the Civic Center, Five Points, and South to the airport?? I don't mean to dismiss the whole city as a giant shit-hole, but believe me, I went to Georgia State for years, and know the area around the campus and all the above venues that you're giving as examples. On a weekly basis there was an email from campus police to warn students of the most recent car brake-ins, rapes, and robberies close to and around campus...
I never realized I'd end up defending Atlanta on an urban planning forum. Yet the accusations you have made are hypocritical, and reflective of what the sprawl industry WANTS you to think.

Crime occurs everywhere. It's especially bad in the economically depressed areas. A nexus of these areas exists in the more downtrodden areas of Atlanta. Yet downtrodden areas are hardly limited to Atlanta, nor are they limited to certain minorities, despite the prevailing wisdom from any number of co-opted media outlets. You'll see crime in lily-white yet economically downtrodden steel and mill towns. And now it's becoming difficult for many mainstream suburban folks to cover their costs, and you're seeing the stress manifested in all sorts of antisocial ways.

Atlanta (and many other American cities) turned into sprawling, car-centric messes partly BECAUSE the real estate industry shrewdly and effectively exploited and capitalized on white American racial paranoia. Rumors abounded about roaming gangs of amoral ghetto folk preparing to infiltrate and defile what were previously morally upstanding middle class white neighborhoods. The original owners sold on the cheap, the realtors/realty companies resold at inflated prices to black folks, the property tax base was diluted, mass transit was seen as gateway to perdition, etc. Now you have all sorts of people wasting their time and money on a car, its expenses, the costs of roads, the higher operating costs of low density sprawl, etc. The developers however, are happy that former greenfields up in Forsythe county have turned into glorified tract housing.

*Edit, I should add that I'm not assessing blame on whiteness. However, the unscrupulous (and that's putting it mildly) real estate industry manipulated and deliberately stoked latent racism/classism for its own selfish interest. Blockbusting and Redlining were ultimately profitable for the developer, not for residents of any race. The fleeing whites sold on the cheap. Their black replacements paid inflated prices for limited supply/more difficult credit.

See how your attitude plays into the hand of the sprawl-loving developers? If you're going to disparage those you deem to be below you (and I can guarantee that the vast majority of the poor folks in South Atlanta are decent), isn't it easier for you to embrace some hostile, detached existence?
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Old May 30th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #114
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Excellent post!
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Old June 1st, 2012, 01:07 PM   #115
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GSU '99 grad here, and long time off/on resident of Dekalb and Fulton counties along with te City of ATL -- And I approve this message all the way from JAPAN!!

Atlanta could get it right on so many levels, but it's this same line of thinking that keeps MARTA from going into Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglass, and even Clayton counties. It's this whole NIMBY "Oh damn, black/poor folks will be taking the train out here to (insert suburb here) to steal/murder/and commit miscellaneous crimes!!" OH NOES!!

When I lived in 30305 (that's Little 5 Points) back when I was a GSU student, I took the train to Inman Park - Reynoldstown and walked 3/4 mile home at 12am... never was so much looked at by a soul. When I lived in Roswell and Sandy Springs, 3 apartments were broken into next to mine, my car was broken into twice, and I was hasseled numerous times for spare change or whatever at gas stations... Not to mention the POLICE pulling me over several times for stupid stuff like "when you made that left turn up there, I heard your wheels squeal-- Maybe you're going to fast for conditions, young man"... Sigh.

Needless to say, I have absolutely 0 of these issues in Yokohama here, but Atlanta could be halfway like it is here if they'd just embrace rapid transit...and learn how to FORGET close to 400 years of trained classism and racism. But this is not Sociology City, this is Skyscraper City

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Old June 1st, 2012, 07:58 PM   #116
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An essay of personal experiences does not convey the general atmosphere of any city, period. I'm pretty sure you could find someone who had bad experiences in Yokohama, but that doesn't lead to Yokohama being a bad place.

You were right on one count...this is not the place for such an inane comment. It's just more genreral junk to add to the weird hatred (jealosy?) for Atlanta by a few vocal people on these sites. It's truly insane.

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Old June 2nd, 2012, 01:51 AM   #117
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So... it just seems GSU is not in among the best neighborhoods in Atlanta. At the same time, it's not among the best colleges in Atlanta. Maybe these issues don't exist around GA Tech or Emory campuses.
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 02:15 AM   #118
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So... it just seems GSU is not in among the best neighborhoods in Atlanta. At the same time, it's not among the best colleges in Atlanta. Maybe these issues don't exist around GA Tech or Emory campuses.
GSU is downtown, so it's not among "the best" neighborhoods but it's not a bad one either. I'm not sure what the issue is that some people have with it other than it's totally urban in the heart of downtown. There is more of an issue with crime around Tech than GSU, or at least that perception exists. There is actually very little crime in downtown Atlanta, but again, the perception of crime exists and some people won't see anything different. It's pretty much like that in most cities.

GSU is now the largest university in Georgia, with more than 30,000 students.

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Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:33 PM   #119
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Source: http://www.newurbanroswell.com/blog/...-rail-map.html
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Old June 2nd, 2012, 11:15 PM   #120
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I have my fingers crossed...
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